The Beginning: Four Women, One Vision

In 1977 in a Washington, D.C. basement, four women with diverse cultural backgrounds and a single passion for educational excellence and opportunity founded the enterprise that would become Creative Associates International.

Charito Kruvant was a pioneer in bilingual education who had worked with Head Start in minority neighborhoods in New Jersey. Mimi Tse, originally trained as a chemist, was fascinated by child psychology and the development of the young mind. Diane Dodge was an early childhood specialist, and Cheryl Jones was an accomplished education practitioner. Both were from the United States.



Charito Kruvant describes the passion, skills and diversity behind Creative’s approach to inclusive and sustainable global development. Watch Video

“We wanted to be sure that we could have an impact in society,” recalls Charito Kruvant. “The four of us came from different cultural settings—Latin American, Chinese, African America and American—and we strongly believed that we had skills and experiences that could benefit others.”

The four collaborated on an early childhood development project that focused on U.S. education and human development programs. Eventually, their domestic focus turned to international educational development and supporting communities in transition.

Their entrepreneurial spirit helped to build Creative’s reputation for innovation, initiative and flexibility.

Today, Charito and a team of other experienced professionals lead Creative, which has grown to almost 1,000 employees and has activities in more than 25 countries. The Company’s portfolio has grown considerably and now includes economic growth, stabilizing communities, enhancing good governance, promoting transparent elections and more.

To support people around the world to realize the positive change they seek.

Creative envisions stable neighborhoods, communities and regions that can develop effective institutions to provide for their people, enabling them to overcome hardship and live peaceful and fulfilling lives.

Respect for One Another
Forthright, Clear and Direct Communication
Client Focus
Technical Excellence


FOUNDED:Creative was founded in 1977.

SUCCESS THROUGH PARTNERSHIP:The African proverb—“if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”—speaks to one of Creative’s core beliefs that partnerships produce better long-term results for communities. Creative partners with civil society organizations, multilateral donors, national governments, the private sector and others to improve education, stabilize neighborhoods and enhance community resiliency. Partnerships are one of the keys to Creative’s success.

GLOBAL REPRESENTATION:Creative’s staff is geographically rich and diverse—representing more than 50 countries—with fluency in Spanish, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian and other languages.

DEDICATED STAFF:Creative’s staff take on challenging assignments that require them to meet the high expectations of the clients, national governments, implementing partners and communities. Through collaboration with other experts and using theories of change, Creative’s team are able to deliver programmatic results.

CURRENT PORTFOLIO:Today, Creative has programs in nearly 30 countries, including Honduras, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

DIVISIONS:Creative is divided into separate divisions—Programs, Operations, Business Development and Finance. Creative is led by the President and CEO Leland Kruvant. See our Leadership Team.

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